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Savings & Rubber Band Balls.

by J. Money on Friday, November 13, 2009

Rubber Band Ball - SaveRubber band balls and savings have a lot in common. For one, the more you add to them the bigger they get! Savings, retirement, emergency funds, you name it. The life of a rubber band ball is awesome – as long as you never take from it ;)

That picture you see there on the left is the ball I’ve been working on for 2 years now. What started as a wee little pile of bands have blossomed into a hefty young man – all due to a little TLC. It’s a little small here on the screen, but I assure you it’s quite the sight.

While I’ve taken on more adventures since starting it (like this blog for example), my ball continues to grow. And little did I know I had a great metaphor sitting right in front of me the whole time! Yup, when you think about it, rubber band balls & saving goes hand in hand. Here’s what I mean:

  1. It’s exciting to watch it get bigger and bigger – Dirty thoughts aside, momentum is a BEAST – especially first starting out. You go from absolutely nothing to something tangible within days. Same thing goes with putting away savings – everyone starts at zero and builds from there. The trick is to keep motivated as time goes on.
  2. It’s crazy easy to add to it! Anytime you have extras laying around, apply it to the fund/ball! With savings, you could even automate it so it pulls from your paychecks automagically. You can’t be as lazy with the rubber ball, but luckily it doesn’t require much energy. In both cases, the more you pile on the happier & more confident you feel.
  3. It’s best NOT to pull from it. This is very important. If you keep taking out and putting back in, you’re not gonna do anything but drive yourself crazy. If it’s just not working, try lowering your expectations a bit so you can stay in the game. Take the small set back now to reap bigger rewards later! It’s a little less emotional for rubber band balls, but the theory still applies ;) One might even ague it’s *harder* to keep adding to it with thieves around the office! I swear someone’s pulling from mine when I’m not looking…

Yup, that’s pretty much it. You can’t get too philosophical when talking about rubber band balls, you know? I really just wanted another way to stress the true awesomeness of compound savings without digging into too much math here (you’re welcome).

The truth of the matter is, the more you continue to save and put aside, the happier & more secure you feel. And the easiest way to make sure this happens is to never touch it! If it goes in, it stays there – that’s it. You’ll have plenty of time to meet with your beloved money later when the time’s right. For now, keep on adding to your financial rubber band ball.


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